Catalonia is to shut down nightlife in closed spaces again for a period of 15 days – starting on Friday. The Catalan government has held an Executive Council meeting to consider various measures to stop the new surge of Covid and one of the decisions is the closure of nightlife in closed spaces. Outdoor seating areas will still be open to the public until 3am.
Scheduled music festivals and other cultural events held at night will still be permitted, as long as antigen testing is carried out or if attendees are fully vaccinated. PCR tests carried out within the previous 12 hours will also be accepted as proof of negative Covid-19 status. The Catalan government was scheduled to hold a press briefing later on Tuesday to further explain the new restrictions.
Following the end of the State of Alarm on 8 May, nightlife venues across Spain were the last businesses to be allowed to re-open, mostly since 21 June, yet still with 50% capacity restrictions.
Many business owners have stated that it has been impossible to enforce other restrictions such as the use of a face mask indoors, even for dancing, or the obligation to keep different groups of people who do not know each other 1.5 metres apart.
The closure of nightlife indoors again comes after recent outbreaks of Covid across Catalonia have resulted in the incidence rate reaching its highest level since the start of the pandemic. As new confirmed cases continue to soar, pressure on hospitals has also started.
The incidence rate now stands at 1,281, jumping 303 points since the last update on Monday. In the past seven days, the weekly number of positive cases has multiplied by eight, from 3,500 cases in a week to 25,700. The incidence rate across Spain is highest for 20-29 year olds – one of the key age groups enjoying nightlife.
On Monday, Catalan health minister Josep Maria Argimon described the situation faced by primary care centres as ‘very complicated’.
‘There is very significant pressure on medical centres because we have people who go to them with, for the most part, mild or very mild symptoms that still require care and tests,’ he said. ‘And at the same time, the primary care system is carrying the entire weight of the vaccination campaign.’
As of 5 July, 43.4% of Catalonia’s population (2,979,248 people out of 6,868,360) have already been fully vaccinated. ALSO READ: Covid-19 Vaccinations in Spain
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